If truth is told, there are few marketing managers who have not at some point or other complained about the amount of time that Social Media seems to engulf. From creating content, posting the right type of quality material, to recruiting, engaging and interacting with followers, not to mention monitoring competitors, Social Media is truly time-consuming!
So what is it that stops Marketing Managers from discarding the social media platforms from their marketing plans?
The answer to that is plain simple:- People are on social media.
It is the place where people congregate to follow others, to share snippets of their life, to get inspired and to communicate. Social media platforms are different in nature to websites because people do not come to the same website every day yet they engage on the same social media platform several times a day! They care what topics, posts and comments their friends like and follow.
This is why you cannot afford not to be present and active on social media because ultimately it is a very important revenue driver and brand positioning tool. Here are some tips for ensuring that the time you and your team dedicate to social media leaves a sizeable return!
1. Create a good presence and make sure you know how to use it
The first task is creating a good presence on those platforms to which your target market flocks. For many businesses, Facebook and Twitter might be the platforms of choice, but social media strategy is not about following the crowd but about following your target. For example, a high-school that wants to promote its courses might opt for SnapChat because it is a social media platform favoured by high-school teenagers. Amongst the many to consider are Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram. Whatever platform you choose, make sure you create a good presence that highlights the USP (unique selling proposition) of your product or service and it is advisable that you know well how to use the platform. In all your activities keep in mind that it’s more about creating a community than replicating your website!
2. It’s all about the content
From the customers’ point of view, social media is all about consuming interesting and valuable content. We are living in an age where consumers are always thirsty for new engaging content. If you want to avoid being discarded from consideration make sure that the content you post is ‘RELEVANT’. This is the biggest trick and most difficult aspect of social media. In the frenzy to post regularly, you might find yourself posting watered-down content. Don’t expect sky-high engagement when you post weak images or trivial content. Apart from being armed with rich and useful material, you need to think about the time to post it. For example, if you’re in the business of selling a seasonal product, it’s critical to know when is the right moment to start presenting the new range for this year’s season and when to start pushing the sales, and when to put up special offers in order to capture the market. Similarly knowing the best time of the day when to post is likely to yield more results. At all times, keep in mind that social media is like a restaurant business and you are constantly serving your audience – you want them delighted! You’ll see their enthusiasm in terms of likes and shares! Avoid stale and boring and bring in a dose of storytelling to whet their appetite.
3. Video is king!
If you’ever looked at Social Media statistics, you have no doubt about the strength of video. Whenever a video is posted, there is much more engagement. Audio-Visual content in social feeds stops us in our tracks much more than a simple picture does. If you want to mobilise followers, it’s time to delve into the dimension of video.
4. The power of consumers, reviews, and testimonials
In social media, the rules are reversed. It is not about pushing the material on the customer but rather the customer liking the content and asking for more! The power of the customer lies in the like and share button, where share is literally ‘advocacy’ of the brand. Furthermore, the customers’ testimonials and reviews are the true life-blood of your business. The more positive reviews and testimonials you gain, the higher you go in the trust barometer because a new potential customer will see you as a less risky business to deal with. This is also directly related to the success rate of your business. Word-of-mouth spreads like wildfire!
5. Customer-care via chatbots is here to stay
Since the early days of social media, companies realised that presences on social media were another customer-care channel. Banks and airlines took avidly to Twitter to answer customers’ queries in real time and other firms used Facebook’s private messaging system to cater for questions and complaints. Now it’s the age of chatbots and don’t underestimate – they are the new salesperson! As more chatbots are implemented it’s worth noting that chatbots use a backbone of AI (Artificial Intelligence) to provide a customised, non-human response to customer queries, helping us save time and money and generating more sales.
6. The beauty of social media marketing research
The first principle of social media marketing research is listening. Never before did we have the customer so close to the company because with social media it is much easier to engage in a dialogue to understand the needs of your target audience and have genuine client feedback. This can help a company craft its long-term strategic moves. Sometimes listening to the suggestions of followers is enough to spark off innovations. As opposed to traditional marketing research, research conducted on social media takes less time, is less costly and is definitely closer to the authentic consumer.
7. Advertising on Social Media
Finally, there’s nothing stopping you to rope in social media in your advertising and promotional plans. The tools available to manage this kind of advertising along with the real time statistics make it much easier to plan and monitor effectiveness. The most important thing in social media advertising is ensuring that the call-for-action and link in the advert takes the user to the right landing page and destination that nudges them to become the next lead, make a purchase or a booking.
Through it all, keep in mind that having an active social media presence does not replace the need for other marketing tools, but it compliments them in an unprecedented way. Do you have questions about how to mobilise social media into generating more revenue for your business? Drop us a line and we’d love to discuss a tailor-made plan for your business and objectives.